Talk about it. Explain to your partner that you have a skin condition and that it’s not contagious. “A lot of fear comes from ignorance,” explained Ava Cadell, PhD, EdD, a clinical sexologist in West Hollywood, Calif. “Put your partner at ease simply by explaining what psoriasis is and isn’t.” Discuss your psoriasis before you are intimate, so it’s not a surprise, Dr. Cadell, founder of Loveology University, advised.
Speak up. Remember that your partner can’t read your mind, Cadell said. Certainly share your turn ons and turn offs, but when you have sex and psoriasis, you need to be an even better communicator than if you don’t have a chronic condition. “You need to tell your partner what makes your psoriasis feel worse and discuss what makes it feel better,” Cadell said. You’re likely to find that when you share your own ailments and insecurities, your partner will become more comfortable sharing, too. It can boost intimacy to a higher level and lead to better sex with psoriasis.
Boost your self-confidence. “If your psoriasis plaques are really bad, and people are looking at you like you’re a leper, it’s hard to feel desirable,” said Madelyn Petrow-Cohen, LCSW, a clinical social worker and psychologist with offices in Maplewood, N.J., and Greenwich Village, N.Y. “That’s where you need to beef up your sense of yourself.” Join a psoriasis support group, and you’ll see you’re not alone. You might also find helpful suggestions that work for intimacy in the bedroom.